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An American Coup D'etat?

This has gotten completely out of control. I never thought I would see our country's politics reduced to the degrading levels of a Banan...

Thursday, August 29, 2019

China

Back to the keyboard.

I have been preoccupied with an onslaught of doctors, lawyers, accountants, brokers, realtors, and dogs, plus taking the Diplowife to the gun range several times as she has gotten the urge to re-learn how to shoot. On that last and most important topic, she's doing very well. I bought her a very nice eight-round S&W Model 63 revolver chambered in .22 LR, and she's been tearing up the target. Tomorrow we graduate to 9mm, and then the sky's the limit after that . . . . Dirty Harry, you're on notice! I also have lost 45 lbs which means I am now just a regular fat guy.

But, enough of that. I have been watching the toing-and-froing with China on "trade." I put those scare quotes around trade because the issue at stake is really much more than just trade. President Trump is attempting the first major challenge to what had seemed the inexorable and unresisted rise of the PRC. I have written before about China (here and here, for example) and have often expressed my concern over China's ambitions. We shall return to all that.

A major hallmark of American diplomacy since the founding of our Republic over 243 years ago has been the search for independence. Whether overtly stated or just understood, the USA has had as its primary goal maintaining its freedom of action and avoiding dependence on foreign powers. In the beginning, we had that goal but did not always have the capability to achieve it. The Monroe Doctrine, of course, an early and overt expression of our wish to be free of outside powers in "our" hemisphere, relied more on the isolating effect of two oceans, strife in Europe, and the fact that the British ruled the ocean waves and had no desire to allow Spain or France to move back into "our" hemisphere.

Our economic policies for most of our history involved high tariffs and nurturing our own industries--and it worked spectacularly. We were not big on "free" trade, although we did welcome foreign investment--e.g., British investing in our railroads and agriculture, German investing in our chemical industry. What has happened in the past few decades is a revolution in our traditional global stance. We became "free traders" in theory and patsies in practice. We allowed our industrial supply chain to become centered on Chinese factories. American CEOs worked out, in the name of free trade, comfortable and highly profitable arrangements with the Chinese which left our factories hollowed out, our technology getting stolen, our workers out of jobs, and our country dependent on China and the whims of that dictatorial regime. Just as we finally achieved the apparently impossible dream of re-establishing our energy independence, we became dependent on Chinese factories and Chinese willingness to buy our debt with the billions of dollars we send them for goods once made here. All this, of course, as China makes clear its long-standing ambition to replace the USA as the pre-eminent economic and military power in the world.

Trump has proven the only President willing to take on the Chinese and call into question the "comfortable" arrangement known as Chimerica.  He, as you would expect, has been pilloried by left and right for his guts, his willingness to upset the apple cart. This Chimerica arrangement has made many people on both sides of the political divide quite wealthy, and done perhaps irreparable damage to our industrial base and national security. The opposition to Trump on this will be and is fierce. For the sake of America and the West, Trump must win.

Give me a little time and I will get around to some other unpleasant topics such as James Comey, Joe Biden and the current crop of Democratic candidates, and the continued hysteria over Brexit. Right now I need to tend to the dogs; they are barking up a storm.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Something a Little Light-hearted from Czechia

Trying to overcome my increasingly pessimistic view of the future of Western Civilization, I did what  I normally do: engaged in potential "red flag" behavior.

That means, of course, I went to my favorite gun store (Backwater Guns in Wilmington, NC) and bought a new addition to my collection. The folks there are extremely nice and always patiently answer all of my stoopid questions without making me think I am stoopid for asking them. I told them, "I am bored. Sell me a gun." We went over about a dozen possibilities, and then I settled on an unlikely purchase for me: a CZ 75B/D made in the Czech Republic (aka, Czechia). You know me: big promoter of "Made in USA"--nearly all of my guns are American--but I had read that CZ makes some exceptionally good guns for the price. The Czechs have long been known for doing good work, including the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and, of course, making a long line of reliable cars.

CZ owns the company that makes one of my favorite guns, the Dan Wesson, .45, but never had I bought one made by CZ itself in the Czech Republic. I got the CZ 75 chambered in 9mm with the decocker mechanism as I consider that a better feature than a standard safety (I know there's debate about that, here for example). The price was good--under $600--and it came with two 16-round mags, a simple cleaning kit, and a very nice hard plastic box. The fit and finish on the piece are excellent, and there is a very high standard of manufacturing and design that seems to have gone into the production.  Disassembly and cleaning proved very easy.

The ergonomics on the gun are excellent, and it shoots very smoothly even in double-action mode. It could use some better and bigger sights, and I will probably have those switched out, but overall I was impressed with the accuracy and the reliability: 200 rounds straight out of the box and not a single failure of any sort. It seems a relatively heavy gun and, perhaps because of that heft, the recoil was negligible. I could have sworn I was shooting a .22.  I can see why this gun is popular with lots of police forces.

There, my "red flag" for the day . . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Toxic Culture and Red Flags

The latest murderous outrages in El Paso and Dayton didn't take long to produce a "blame on" torrent from the usual and even some unusual suspects. We had the usual suspects blaming President Trump  for his "divisive" rhetoric and supposed adherence to "white supremacy." Not a sparrow falls but that President Trump doesn't get blamed. A deranged Aussie environmentalist, who hates Trump, goes off the rails and murders 51 people in a couple of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and it's Trump's fault. A lunatic environmentalist supporter of Senators Warren and Sanders goes nuts in Dayton, Ohio, kills nine people, and it's Trump's fault. A bizarre and cowardly (he wore ear protectors; not the sign of an intending kamikaze) environmentalist racist who hates Trump goes ape in El Paso, murders 21 people, and, of course, it's Trump's fault. As I write this, I hear the mayor of Dayton essentially blaming the killings in her city on Trump; she's the mayor, she runs the police in Dayton, she has the power to control the streets, but it's the President's fault that there are killings on those streets of Dayton. Right. OK. Gotcha.

I also hear some weird stuff from people who should know better.

Lots of talk from otherwise sane people about "red flags." Even the President's speechwriters had him support that stupid idea du jour. Oh, yes, we will design a process to "red flag" certain people for certain non-violent behavior, aka speech, and then use it in some as yet unspecified way to prevent them from exercising their second amendment rights. We see floating about various ideas and even pieces of proposed legislation to create some sort of list drawing data from somewhere or other to use to "intervene" in some way (dispatch of Sheriff's Deputies is my guess) to prevent guns from falling into the "wrong hands." Sure thing, buddy. Sing it out John, Paul, George, and Ringo, "Back in the USSR, boys . . . "

I have written before about progressive infatuation with "gun control" lists  and "mental health" (December 9, 2015). What do you think will happen with such a process? Whom do you think will control it? How long before conservatives, and others out of political favor get a "red flag"? Shall we have the same kind of people who run Google, YouTube, and Twitter control it? How about the sort who run progressive-controlled city councils? What possibly could go wrong? How long before we have the sort of fraud we see in the MeToo movement and the racial hate hoax plague spread to "gun control"? Due process, anybody? Who, by the way, are these "mental health experts" who will determine whether somebody deserves his second amendment rights? Should we have them for our other rights? Are these the same experts, for example, who for centuries told us that  homosexuality is a "personality disorder" or the ones who now insist we must not only accept it but praise it, embrace it, promote it? Mental health, of course, is settled science of the highest and most reliable order . . . right up there with the Piltdown Man and man-made global cooling, warming, change, or whatever.

Oh, yes, folks, but lest you think otherwise, there is something out there worthy of a "red flag"--but it's not being discussed at all.

All over the West, not just in the USA, we have created in the past three or four decades a vile, toxic culture that leads to the sorts of murderous sprees we have seen, for example, in Norway, New Zealand, and, of course, the USA. Radicalization via Internet? Sure, but it goes much deeper than that. It goes deeper than porno and vile video games.

There is a pervasive rot spread by Hollywood, the universities, and the media, both new and legacy. It tells us we must welcome endless waves of dirt-poor aliens, who enter our country illegally, and ply them with free health care, voting rights, housing, and free schooling. We must sing the praises of single mothers; promote abortion up to the moment of birth and even beyond. Judeo-Christian values, institutions, and traditions are ripe for ridicule and destruction, and, of course, deservedly so! Western history, after all, is just an endless catalog of racism, imperialism, genocide, patriarchy, and assault on the very earth. Gaia weeps because of the white man!

Man. Men. Male. These are now foul words and concepts. There is an ongoing war, yes, war, against men and what it means to be male, in our decrepit universities, in the decaying industry known as Hollywood (notice that white men have virtually disappeared from TV commercials?) and in the media. Instead, for example, of celebrating the amazing accomplishment of American men landing on the moon, the WaPo harangues us with nonsense that the Soviet moon program was much more diverse and, of course, it sent the first woman into space and the first non-white into space. Don't you dare think, much less say, "Yes, but the object was to get to the moon first."

We see, as I have written before, young men alienated from their culture, told by their intellectual betters than they are all rapists and murderers and racists and just plain "TOXIC!" University orientation programs seek to deprogram the male out of young men students. Hollywood tells them they are murderers and clowns, that the future is female, and, besides, women can kick your ass, buddy! These men find the universities, the entertainment industry, the media, and the work environment hostile. Many retreat into delusional and dangerous corners of the Internet, and link up with others like them. They have no historical context for what is happening as the schools are garbage and no longer teach history, or Western philosophy, or the great accomplishments of the West; they pick up scattered and often insane ideas from weird web sites that promote dark conspiracy theories. Yes, they are radicalized by the Internet but the roots go deeper.

We are destroying Western Civilization and the result is bloody massacre.

That's your "red flag."